How would you describe your swagher? What makes Tayla, Tayla?
LOL. Tayla swag is pretty simple. I am confident, with a bit of shyness, mixed with spice and everything nice. Tayla is free, she can engage freely and is unapologetic for anything. I live my life intentionally with love and respect for others. We all have to answer [for] what we have done in life and [how we’ve] impact [ed] others.
I know you started early, but do you remember what it was like when you first discovered gymnastics?
Yes, the physical injury healed nicely, however I suffered mentally because of how the injury happened. Bars were my least favorite event. I was not a big fan of bars, so when the injury occurred I shut down and [became] fearful of doing bars again. I was mentally afraid. It was the first time I had ever had a significant injury. I just wasn’t sure at the moment how to move forward with it—the sport I love. It was tough for me to get back there. I was depressed. My parents encouraged me to start going to a sports psychologist to help overcome my fear. I would suggest to anyone suffering mentally in any part of their life to seek help to gain understanding and resolve.
How did you come up with the idea to train and work with young girls?
When I was a gymnast, I started coaching at World Xtreme Gymnastics—the gym I grew up in and competed with throughout high school. The parents at the gym would periodically ask me to do private lessons with their child, so I did. Eventually, I realized that I enjoyed working with the girls and encouraging them to meet their goals. I also loved the result when my student would place first.
You also work with the school systems. How did this opportunity come about?
Even though I competed in gymnastics on a club level, I also participated in high school gymnastics. My high school gymnastic coaches knew that Henry County was bringing gymnastics to the high school, so they asked me to help since they were very aware of my extensive gymnastic training. High school gymnastics is very different from club gymnastics, so most of the girls on my high school team didn’t have much gymnastics training experience. This was an opportunity to give back and help girls who wanted to participate in a school sport. I started coaching in high school, and [they] offered me a coaching position for the high school after graduating from college.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Being a gymnastic coach and physical therapist technician is so rewarding. I enjoy helping others, whether nursing them back to health or coaching kids to see them do what they love. I am grateful that GOD has allowed me to use my talent and gifts to help others in both of these fields. What I love most about being a coach is being a great role model for the youth and helping them gain confidence and accomplish their goals.
What advice would you give to other athletes who may have to pivot in their careers?
Never give up. Keep pushing and have faith that GOD will bring you through the other side. If you have experience in obstacles, please reach out to your coaches and family to provide guidance. Trouble doesn’t last all ways.
Are you currently enrolled in school to become a doctor of physical therapy?
I was accepted into Georgia State University to start the prerequisite courses required to enter the program this fall. I am on a journey to complete my DPT [doctor of physical therapy] by 2025. I can’t wait until I say good morning Dr. Tayla Gay, you go girl!
How do you find the time to do all that you do and go to school?
Honestly, there is not enough time in the day. I prioritize and stay focused on my goals. It would be best to become organized, which means I mark everything up at the beginning of the week that needs completion. Timing is everything. I’m constantly going from one job to the next, but I can complete my coursework anywhere since I will take my courses online. It’s all about being disciplined, and gymnastics taught me to practice twenty-five hours a week and go to school. You have to stay focused.
How do you practice self-care?
I practice self-care by making sure I take care of business first and checking off weekly tasks in my planner to optimize at [the] highest level when it’s time to practice self-care. You know, I don’t have to think about what needs to be done because I have already crossed those things off the list. Of course, the obvious pampering yourself with “getting hair, nails, and toes did” is so cliché. However, I take a minute to relax and clear my head. I work out three times a week to reduce stress, and of course, being 24, I still go out and have fun with my girls. We do love a good girls night out or day party to unwind and get back in the game.
What can we expect from you in 2022?
In 2022 you can expect TAYNETICS to expand their brand and drop athletic clothing wear and training accessories to help you reach your optimal fitness goals.
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